"People of the Books" Blog

AJL 2020 Conference Update #4

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the in-person conference has been canceled and a new virtual conference is being designed.

 

Your AJL Conference Update

by Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin

February 19, 2020

Announcing the 2020 Feinstein Lecture:

A person wearing a blue shirt

Description automatically generatedDr. Malka Z. Simkovich will deliver the annual Feinstein Lecture during lunch on Wednesday, July 1 at 12:15pm at the Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Evanston, IL. She is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and the director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She earned a doctoral degree in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University. Her first book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016, and her second book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism, was published in 2018 and received the 2019 AJL Judaica Reference Honor Award. Simkovich’s articles have been published in the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well as on online forums such as The Lehrhaus and the Times of Israel. Her third book, a co-authored commentary on Zechariah, is forthcoming in 2021, and she is currently working on a book regarding Jewish concepts of diaspora in the Greco-Roman period.

 

About the Feinstein Lecture:

Logo for AJL 2020 conference in EvanstonThe Association of Jewish Libraries received a grant from the Foundation for Jewish Culture (FJC) given by the Myer and Rosalind Feinstein Family to fund an annual lecture. Lectures on Judaic bibliography and librarianship were delivered at the annual conferences from 1996-2010. The FJC is no longer active, but it left AJL with monies to continue these lectures. The Feinstein Lecture resumed at the 2019 AJL Conference and will continue to encourage and inspire Judaica librarians at future conferences. 

REGISTER HERE

To read previous weekly conference updates, go to the 55TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 page of the AJL website and scroll down to the “Documents” section.

 

ALA Midwinter: A Goat's Eye View

by Marjorie Ingall

It was my first library conference, my first time serving on the Sydney Taylor Award Committee, my first time trying Old City Coffee in the Reading Terminal Market. All highly recommended.

I was determined, as I roamed the exhibition floor staring goggle-eyed like a chimp at a banana plantation, not to pick up a single book. I could always request copies of appealing titles when I got home, I told myself. This meant I left the floor so laden with tote bags of books, I could barely walk. 

I am weak. 

The highlight of the conference was, of course, the Youth Media Awards. We Sydney Taylor Committee members in attendance got our pics taken by a professional photographer, even though it was 6:05am and my undereye bags had bags. (They were almost as big as my totebags full of books.) We were given instructions in how to wave for the cameras: Stand, smile, 180 degree turn, 90 degree turn, 180 degree turn, keep smiling, keep waving. 

We were ushered into the cavernous, buzzy conference room and discovered that AJL had been seated in the front row! It felt like being at the Oscars, except more literate! The ceremony began, and everything was thrilling. The air felt charged; it was as if champagne bubbles and nitrous oxide were being pumped through the ductwork. Books and authors we loved in other categories were recognized, and we gasped and cheered and stamped our feet. When our award was announced, we stood up as directed and waved our little stuffed goats. (They were a tribute to the logo of Aaron Lansky’s Yiddish Book Center, the subject of Sue Macy’s gold-medal-winning picture book, The Book Rescuer. Lots of committees bring props to brandish when their name is called. It’s a Thing.) 

I was proud of our slate of winners: Books about Jewish circus-acrobat refugees in 1940s China; about a contemporary MacArthur Genius grant winner; about friendship and bravery in Vichy, France (in graphic novel form, no less); about an Eastern-European Jewish girl and an elusive dragon in a magic-infused world; about a Sephardic woman guitarist; about a new little immigrant to Ellis Island; about an American basketball team in Berlin; about a Supreme Court justice; and about a pair of contemporary snarky teens with chronic illnesses and a lot of spark. 

After all the awards were announced, we dashed back to the exhibition floor to put shiny medal stickers on all the Gold, Silver, and Notable books. Everyone around us seemed to be beaming; everyone was thrilled to see us. This is very good for the self-esteem. If there is any way you can get in on this action, I highly recommend it. 

I slept the whole way home on the train, my suitcase stuffed with books and a furry goat. He is now is my kid’s room, among the books, going by Goaty McGoaterson. 

 



Jews! Jews on the poster! Jews!










I liked the nerdy ribbons people added to their badges. This is AJL’s Susan Kusel’s badge. 














Day 5: 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

Each day, the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour brings you exciting
interviews with winning authors and illustrators, on a variety of kidlit blogs.
Please be sure to show our hosting bloggers a little love - leave them some comments!

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2020

Sofiya Pasternack, author of Anya and the Dragon

Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Categoryat From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors

Victoria Ortiz, author of Dissenter on the Bench

Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Young Adult Categoryat Jewish Books for Kids

 Blog Tour Wrap-Up at The Whole Megillah

AJL 2020 Conference Update #3

logo for AJL 2020 conference

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the in-person conference has been canceled and a new virtual conference is being designed.

 

Your AJL Conference Update

by Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin

February 12, 2020

Conference Registration and Support Information

We welcome you to register for the 2020 Conference by going to the Upcoming Conference page of the AJL website. Full Conference registration includes all conference sessions and kosher meals (Chicago Rabbinical Council certification): Keynote Lunch on Monday; breakfast, lunch & Awards Dinner on Tuesday; and breakfast & lunch on Wednesday. Per diem and other special rates are also available. Scroll down to the “Documents” section at the end of the 55TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 page for links to Conference Tickets and Rates 2020 and Registration Frequently Asked Questions.

 

To register, follow these instructions:

Members Full Conference Registration: For the discounted membership rate of $450 (by April 30), click on the "Register Now" button and login as a member. Please review your contact information, update as necessary, and fill in the information requested in the box at the bottom of the page. If you have questions regarding your membership status or member login information, please contact Sharon Benamou , VP Membership.

Non-members: Click on the "Register Now" button and then click on the "Continue as a Guest" button. Fill out your contact information and the information requested in the box at the bottom of the page.

All Registrants: After the preliminary steps above, click "Continue." and Select the appropriate "ticket" (e.g., Full Registration, Per Diem registration, etc.) and click on the "Add" button. Answer the questions and click on the "Add" button. Choose any additional tickets and add them as well. When you have completed your selections, scroll down to the Added Tickets and Products section and click "Continue." Review your information and then click “Continue” to finish the registration process, opting to pay by credit card or clicking "Bypass Payment" to pay by check or with an international credit card. If you would like to pay by check, mail your check made out to 'AJL Conference 2020' to:

Holly Zimmerman, AJL Treasurer
707 North Belgrade Road
Silver Spring, MD 20902

 

Once you have completed your registration, you will receive a meeting registration notification email as well as a payment receipt. For payment questions, including how to pay with a non-US/Canada credit card, please contact Holly.

For registration questions, please email Marcie Eskin, Conference Registrar, or call 847-926-7903.

Please note that applications for assistance and scholarships to attend the conference are now available. For more information, go to the CONFERENCE SUPPORT & SCHOLARSHIPS page of the AJL website.

 

To read previous weekly conference updates, go to the 55TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 page of the AJL website and scroll down to the “Documents” section.

Day 4: 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

Each day, the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour brings you exciting
interviews with winning authors and illustrators, on a variety of kidlit blogs.
Please be sure to show our hosting bloggers a little love - leave them some comments!

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2020

Hannah Moskowitz, author of Sick Kids in Love

Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Young Adult Categoryat Good Reads with Ronna

 Andrew Maraniss, author of Games of Deception

Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Categoryat A Fuse #8 Production at School Library Journal